FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The Low Processed Food Diet?

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When one looks at the diets of the world, we find that some stand out as part of a healthy lifestyle more than others.  Although these are simply observations of populations or cultures with a history of longevity and low rates of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancers, there are lessons to be learned.  There is merit in looking at these traditional ways of eating that often get lost in the mire of diet advice.  However, they seem  to have one common characteristic – there is hardly any that includes the consumption of highly processed foods.  I know, all foods are processed to an extent, but what we’re talking about here is what they should be called- ultra-processed foods defined as: “Formulations of several ingredients which, besides salt, sugar, oils, and fats, include food substances not used in culinary preparations, in particular, flavors, colors, sweeteners, emulsifiers and other additives used to imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.” More than half of all the calories consumed in the Standard American Diet (SAD) is provided by these foods.

So the bottom line for heath:  To borrow  from Michael Pollan’s famous advice: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”, we can just simply say: “Eat real food, not too much, mostly unprocessed or minimally processed.

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The Sensible Approach to Healthy Diets?

farmersmarketsign_tnAre you tired of being told to eat a plant-based diet? Do you find that conversion to a vegan diet impossible?  Did your doctor suggest you follow a healthy diet? Think about trying the approach of becoming a Flexitarian.  It can put you in control of your diet and at the same time start to incorporate a sensible approach to dietary health and still enjoy a moderate amount of meat, poultry, or fish without guilt.

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What is “Real Food”?

Strawberries provide lots of good nutrition and can be cancer fighters.

Strawberries provide lots of good nutrition and can be cancer fighters.

What exactly is “real food”?   The following article brings up some good definitions. In my opinion, it is food that is not highly processed. The fewer ingredients, the better. All foods contain unpronounceable chemicals, but ultra processing requires the addition of many chemicals we may not need for nourishment.

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Food Trends or Fads ?

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Restaurants are in trouble but will this trend last?  The food culture of America may be changing but little is known if it will improve our health habits. Eating food away from home tends to increase our intake of calories, sugar, fat and salt. Will home cooking ever return?

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